Winnipeg researchers investigating potential for flaxseed as preventive Alzheimer’s measure – Winnipeg |

Researchers at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg are looking into a potential Manitoba-grown preventive measure in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Benedict Albensi and his team say they’re investigating whether locally grown flaxseed has an impact on memory.

“One particular trial that we’ve had going on for a couple years — but was on hold because of COVID — is a flaxseed clinical trial,” Albensi said.

“Flaxseed has many heart health benefits — it reduces blood pressure and has other benefits for heart health, and so we starting thinking about testing it in the brain to see if it can improve memory and, in fact, help to prevent Alzheimer’s.”

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The study, he said, is the only one of its kind, and involves trial participants consuming a flax-infused beverage every day for six months.

“We’re hoping it’s going to improve memory and reduce some of the other markers that we associate with Alzheimer’s disease,” he said, “like inflammation and these other sorts of things we can measure in blood samples.

“No one in the world is working with flax, and flax is an important commodity in Manitoba.”

The researchers have teamed up with Manitoba-based Pizzey Ingredients, which is providing the flaxseeds, and Albensi said now that they’re back up and running after a pandemic-related hiatus, he’s hopeful about the results.

“A lot of scientists believe that we can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 50 per cent with proper diet and exercise, so this is really a preventative measure.

“We’re hoping we’re going to get great results.”

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